Taylor Pechter's Top 5 Comics of 2018

By Taylor Pechter

1. Hawkman
Robert Venditti
Artist: Bryan Hitch
Publisher: DC Comics

The sleeper hit of the year. Written by Robert Venditti (Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps) and drawn by Bryan Hitch (The Authority), Hawkman explores the character of Carter Hall. It weaves a story about history and self-discovery that is intrinsic to his character. From its start back in June, this has been a must-read series. Not only is Venditti’s script immaculate in consolidating the convoluted nature of Carter’s origins, but Bryan Hitch is supplying the best artwork of his career. The art is big and cinematic but also contains a lot of emotion within it. Go read this series

Read more about why we like Hawkman!

2. The Wild Storm
Warren Ellis
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Publisher: DC Comics

A holdover from last year, Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt’s gritty, stripped-down, espionage-fueled retelling of the WildStorm Universe continued to chug along in 2018 and continue its greatness. Not only did we see the formation of the proto-WildCATs and John Lynch searching down his Thunderbook agents before IO gets a hand on them. Ellis, like always, is a master in character interactions. His injection of dark humor also adds a great edge to the book. Davis-Hunt’s art work continues to be simple, but also dynamic with some of the best rendering of action in the business. The end of 2018 brings us to the end of the third of four arcs. With all the pieces set in place, the final arc is sure to be a doozy, and I am all here for it.

3. Justice League Dark
James Tynion IV
Alvaro Martinez Bueno
Publisher: DC Comics

Re-teaming hot creative team James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez Bueno straight off their acclaimed run of Detective Comics, Justice League Dark focuses on the mystical side of the DC Universe. Formed by Wonder Woman after the events of Justice League: No Justice, titular team works to discover something amiss in the magic community. Much like his run on Detective, Tynion is an expert in character voices and dynamics. Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Man-Bat, Detective Chimp, Swamp Thing, and many more have great interactions with each other that help add a personality to this book. Martinez Bueno’s art is astonishingly detailed and creepy paired perfectly with Brad Anderson’s moody but vibrant color palate.

4. Doomsday Clock
Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Publisher: DC Comics

The series that never ends. Jokes about the delays aside, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s examination of the DC Universe through the eyes of Watchmen characters continues to be one of the most illuminating reads on the shelves whenever it does actually come out. How Johns expertly moves from dark and dour to hopeful and optimistic is a hallmark of his writing. His scripts are dense and complex, heavy with nuance. Gary Frank continues to be one of, if not THE, best artists in the business. He is a master of rendering and emotion, capturing both the bleak tone of Watchmen and the light tone of the DC Universe. He is also joined again here by colorist extraordinaire Brad Anderson. The release of issue eight brought this year to an end with a bang, both literally and figuratively.  

5. Action Comics
Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Patrick Gleason, Yanick Paquette, Ryan Sook
Publisher: DC Comics

In November 2017 it was announced that industry heavyweight Brian Michael Bendis was jumping from Marvel to DC. Speculation arose to which character he would write. In February of this year, it was announced he would write the six-issue mini series Man of Steel, a callback to the 1986 John Byrne-penned book of the same name. Bendis would then subsequently take over both Superman and Action Comics, focusing on two different aspects of the character. The main Superman book would focus on cosmic level threats and big action, while Action would be a more grounded take focusing on Clark Kent the journalist. This is an aspect that is barley touched upon in modern Superman stories, and it’s also what hooked me right away. Bendis’ main focus is on the Daily Planet. With Lois away working on writing a book, they have lost one of their premier reporters. Not only that, but a rash of unexpected fires have started popping up and a shady underground criminal organization is rising from the underbelly of Metropolis. Clark the reporter is on the case. Like most investigative journalism, there are a lot of steps to be traced. Bendis takes advantage of that by focusing on two new characters he created: fire chief Melody Moore and upstart Planet employee Robinson Goode. Intrigue is abundant as Bendis uses his signature snappy dialogue to give new life not only to the Planet newsroom but to Metropolis in general. Joining Bendis on art duties is Patrick Gleason, Yanick Paquette, and Ryan Sook. Each of them lend their unique style, adding richness to the characters and the world around them.

Taylor Pechter is a passionate comic book fan and nerd. Find him on Twitter @TheInspecter.